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How Predictive Email Improves Law Firm Information Governance


There’s no doubt about it: effective information governance is a huge undertaking, and email remains some of the most difficult (yet important) content to manage.

From ensuring successful knowledge transfer to correct classification and compliance, email brings a unique set of challenges to a firm’s content management strategy. The way email is handled firm-wide interms of storage, tagging, filing, and collaboration can support or hinder that strategy.

There’s a lot of pressure to get it right. Concerns around security, compliance, and audits remain a priority for clients, and attorneys must meet those rising expectations to remain competitive and compliant.

That’s why law firms need a strong information governance strategy — but especially one that addresses the challenges of email, streamlines vital governance workflows, and satisfies both clients and attorneys alike.

Predictive email filing technology is changing the game

Manual email management is hardly an option when it comes to information governance. As attorneys receive dozens if not hundreds of emails per day, it can be incredibly difficult and time-consuming to ensure that every email gets saved in the correct matter file (without duplicate filings).

Fortunately, there’s a solution that helps attorneys file their digital communications quickly and accurately: an email management system with predictive email filing.

Predictive email filing technology changes the way law firms capture and manage email — making attorneys’ inboxes more organized, collaborative, and efficient.

Leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), this tool uses firm-wide behaviors to quickly identify possible filing locations and provide an accuracy ranking. Attorneys then simply confirm the filing location and set access rights, if necessary… and then keep their momentum going with automatic filings for subsequent emails in the chain, eliminating the interruptions caused from navigating through a complex folder structure to find the right file destination for every email.

The best part? As more users in your firm take advantage of the technology, the smarter and more accurate it becomes.

When paired with a highly secure legal document management system (DMS), law firms can be more confident in the compliance and security of their email and their information governance strategy.

The benefits of predictive email filing

With predictive email filing technology, attorneys and law firms gain a variety of useful benefits, including:

  • Faster and more accurate email filing
  • More complete matter files
  • Fewer workflow disruptions
  • Increased efficiency and productivity
  • Avoid duplicate filings
  • Shortened onboarding time for new attorneys
  • Control over user access permissions
  • Improved compliance and security

What are the risks of not using email management technology?

Here’s the thing about manual email management: it can get messy, quick. The more complicated the workflow, the less likely people are to follow it — which can result in incorrect filing, duplicate content, incomplete matter files, and non-compliance.

So whether an audit request comes from a client or from a legal entity, the risks and liability of manual email management are real.

It’s true that effective records management, knowledge management, and information governance still require effort (and good sense). But the reality is that email management technology can drastically improve a law firm’s governance situation simply by making it easier for attorneys to keep up with.

Get to Know ndMail

In addition to the leading cloud-based document management platform for legal professionals, NetDocuments offers an outstanding email management system — ndMail.

ndMail connects emails directly to NetDocuments’ robust security that’s essential to law firms’ information governance strategies and compliance. It also provides a full suite of Outlook-and Gmail-integrated tools to help legal professionals be more organized and productive, including predictive email filing whether at a desktop or on a mobile device.

Watch the video below to see how quick and easy it is to use predictive email filing in ndMail:

Common Questions About Predictive Email Filing and ndMail

Q: When I’m one of the recipients of an email, and I delete my copy from my mailbox, do I still get access to the copy that was globally filled?

A: Yes, you still have access to the email filed to NetDocuments assuming someone hasn’t removed your security from that item.

Q: How do you file on mobile devices?

A: The same functionality that you enjoy on your desktop apps are available through our Mobile application. That includes predictive filing, mapped folders, and conversation filing.

Q: How are predictions weighted in terms of the various bits of information that they look at i.e. is the subject line weighted heavier than keywords in the body of the email?

A: The weightings we use have been honed for more than the past decade. There are various weightings with some (like conversation/thread ID or subject) being weighted more than others. Please reach out to us if you would like to learn more.

Q: Can you re-file something if you file it in the 'wrong' place initially?

A: Yes, you can just uncheck the box next to the wrong location and check the box next to the correct location.

Q: Can you describe the toolbar beneath the filing pane? Also, what does it look like if the reading pane is at the bottom of the screen?

A: The toolbar at the bottom of the screen has a few more advanced options for filing email messages. It includes things like being able to lock the email message down to just the people that received or sent it in the case of a sensitive email. That email will be locked down when it gets to NetDocuments as well. With the reading pane is at the bottom of the screen, you can still choose where the filing pane is displayed. To learn how please reach out to your sales person for an in-depth demo.

Q: Does this provide the ability for bulk filing from my inbox?

A: Yes. You can select multiple email messages or all email messages in a folder and file them at the same time.

Q: If I purchase the ORGANIZE solution, do I also have to purchase ndMail? ndOffice required to use EM?

A: No. ndMail is part of ORGANIZE and you automatically have access to it for your organization as part of that solution package. 

Q: Is it possible to save an attachment as a new version of an existing document in NetDocuments?

A: Yes you can save an attachment as a new version of an existing file or convert attachments to a PDF before sending without having to modify the original file.

Q: Does full-text searching also search attachments?

A: Yes, it does.

Q: Can you forward an email or reply to an email from ndMail?

A: Yes, you can.

Q: Can you set the file pane to show matter numbers?

A: Yes you can.

Q: How does folder mapping work?

A: You can map Outlook folders to NetDocuments so that any emails added or moved filed to a mapped Outlook folder are automatically uploaded to the specified NetDocuments location.

Q: What is the target firm size for this product?

A: ndMail can benefit firms and corporate legal teams of all sizes. We have firms ranging from solo practices to 3000+ users.

Q: Are you able to drag-and-drop emails to the My Folders area?

A: Yes, you can.

Q: Can you use the Filing Pane to file an email to multiple matters?

A: Yes, you can. It's as simple as checking the boxes next to the matters you want to file to.

Transform Your Email Into an Engine for Productivity

Email doesn’t have to drain your time. With modern solutions like ndMail your inbox can become your most important tool for maintaining organization, meeting compliance requirements, and providing only the best in client services.

If you’re ready to take your inbox from messy to managed, Contact Us and start working inspired today!

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